Rumors continue to swirl around Classic Physique kingpin Chris Bumstead testing himself in the Men’s Open division. In a Muscular Development YouTube video published on October 2, 2023, Milos Sarcev opened up about Chris Bumstead’s potential move into the Open class and if he reaped benefits from the Classic Physique rule change.
In August, the Classic Physique division’s height/weight cap was increased to balance the playing field for shorter athletes against their taller counterparts, effective immediately. This announcement was made by IFBB Pro League Vice President Tyler Manion, who also instituted new changes for the Men’s Physique category, though these measures won’t take effect until the first contest following 2023 Olympia in November.
Bumstead’s road to this year’s title defense has been filled with obstacles. He revealed that personal issues and the unexpected retirement of his brother-in-law Iain Valliere have been weighing heavily on his mind. However, “Cbum” is accustomed to pushing past uncomfortable boundaries, which he credits for his history of success.
Bumstead teasing his participation in a new division has begged a few questions. How would his physique look without a limit on size? And how would he fare against the league’s top Men’s Open contenders? The latest to offer answers to these inquiries was coach Milos Sarcev.
Milos Sarcev Hints Chris Bumstead Is ‘Entertaining An Open Show’ In 2024
Even though Sarcev believes Chris Bumstead is the “poster child” and “paragon” of the Classic Physique division, he foresees the 28-year-old being “damn competitive” should he test his capabilities in the Men’s Open.
“Chris Bumstead is the poster child – the paragon of what Classic looks like. He’s probably going to be winning until he retires. That’s how good he is. But interestingly, a year later, Chris Bumstead improved so much that he would beat those guys even in a bodybuilding contest.
Sarcev doesn’t think Bumstead’s look will be affected by the height/weight cap news, as he still had eight pounds to spare before hitting his max weight.
Chris Bumstead… if you pay attention, he is entertaining an Open Bodybuilding show probably as soon as next year. I think he’s going to be damn competitive. And when they’re saying, ‘Oh the change of weight was geared towards Chris,’ No. Chris had like eight more pounds to go.”
“He has crazy conditioning. When you look at him, you know some people just have ability to look ridiculous. You have some people that are actually very lean and they just don’t appear that way.”
Sarcev Praises New Classic Physique Height/Weight Increase, “It’s a Beautiful Thing”
According to Sarcev, he had a conversation with Jim and Tyler Manion approximately two years ago and lobbied for new height/weight rules in the popular category.
“You probably don’t know but more than a year ago, close to two years ago, I contacted Jim Manion about it. I told him I really think because I witnessed so many perfectly Classic guys that were ready to step on the stage but they need to lose 15 pounds.
It’s as good as it gets. So now to lose this 15 pounds… where does this 15 pounds come from? So they’re going to have to lose some muscle and change the shape and as you know when you lose something you usually lose the weakness first, as that’s how it goes.
I told him, I said to Jim, ‘Look, many of those guys are already cap top.’ So even now, if you think you’re going to keep that same cap forever and ever and not progressively maybe increase it, that means that these guys cannot body-build. They can just maintain what they have. They cannot improve. It’s going to always be stagnant, same old thing,” Milos Sarcev explained.
With time to reflect on the new Classic Physique rules, Sarcev described them as “a beautiful thing.”
“He told me to talk to Tyler and I expressed this to Tyler. That was at least a year and half ago because I was still living in a different house. He says okay, they were going to consider. And I guess they were considering. And now they came up and I’m glad they did. If you ask me: Yes for sure. The increase weight is a beautiful thing.”
“I see some guys are going to think, ‘Okay, I look aesthetic regardless,’ and they’re like 20 pounds overweight, and still look good and are shapely and all that. I’m not for losing the Classic limits. I didn’t really analyze that much.”
At the beginning of the year in February, Bumstead joined Hany Rambod on The Truth podcast to discuss the possibility of switching divisions. Not only did Bumstead say he wanted to peak without size restrictions, but he indicated interest in the Arnold Classic Open stage — but only if the contest was two or three weeks post-Olympia.
As Sarcev mentioned, Bumstead has continued to tease an Open transformation. In fact, in a sit-down interview with Chris Williamson back in July, the bodybuilding star revealed he’d ‘definitely’ been thinking about it, adding that he would love to see what he looks like on stage with the added muscle.
It’s not just Milos Sarcev talking about Chris Bumstead making an Open splash, others have as well, such as Rich Gaspari, Kevin Levrone, Chris Cormier, and Olympia judge Terrick El Guindy. Right now, Bumstead’s top priority is a fifth Classic Physique Olympia title, but the demand to see him step up on an Open stage has only grown as of late.